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Homeland Security Secretary: ‘We are standing by to support Portland’

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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf delivered his 2020 State of the Homeland Address on Wednesday where he focused on cities like Portland where riots continue to cause damage to public and private property.

Wolf said the Department of Homeland Security will never abdicate its moral and legal duty to protect American cities from rioters.

“Let me be clear: Those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions, indiscriminately destroy our businesses and attack our law enforcement officers and fellow citizens are a threat to the homeland,” Wolf said. “The department has experienced this firsthand in Portland, Oregon, where violent opportunists repeatedly targeted and attempt to burn down a federal courthouse, the seat of justice in downtown Portland.”

The rioting in Portland has been ongoing for more than 100 days. It began shortly after the the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Wolf started his speech by thanking all of his DHS employees.

“Your job is not easy. It’s not glamorous. You get no writeups in glossy magazines,” he said. “Instead, you get many words written about you or shouted at you. Thank you for showing up every day.”

Wolf said that the majority of Americans stand by law enforcement and that people should not be fooled by the fringe minority.

“We cannot and must not fall victim to the delusion of a fringe minority of Americans who are opposed to the honorable men and women who wear the badge and who swear to protect our communities.”

The secretary echoed President Trump in urging Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to request federal assistance for his city so that DHS could help end the months-long riots and restore order to the city.

“We are standing by to support Portland,” Wolf said. “At the same time, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that there will come a point when state and local officials fail to protect its citizens from violence, the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens.”

Trump has made it public that he plans to promote Wolf, who is currently acting secretary, to become the new Department of Homeland Security leader yet this year.

PHOTO: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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